A weekend of firsts in Japan

Kudos to Manabu Saito for the many firsts in his Rural Generalist Workshop supported by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. In a move that is new to Japan Dr Saito ran a workshop for six Vanguard Rural Generalists of the Japanese Rural Generalist Program, with Specialists in Anaesthetics, Obstetrics, Surgery, Cardiology, Orthopaedics and Radiology, running sessions on clinical skill building and exposure to cross discipline knowledge.

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Medical knowledge was coupled with feedback and performance improvement, another first for the Registrars as their supervisors gave them personal feedback not only in medical knowledge but also their evolving use of the English language with the very excellent Jasmine Millman.

Jasmine is a Dietician, English teacher and Ph.D. Student living on Okinawa researching gut microbial biomes as a possible key to the longevity of Japanese people’s lives. It was a pleasure to meet another Australian passionately supporting the Rural Generalist program.

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An evening of social interaction between supervisors, hospital staff, support people and observing doctors (possible future rural generalists) was another first, with the Supervisors put under the spotlight to talk about their history and their aspirations.

Conversations about work-life balance, women in medicine and life outside medicine to create a sustainable lifelong career, were unique and refreshing.

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The enthusiasm for rural generalist medicine and delivery of services to island people was palpable. The commitment of many people to making this new program is inspiring. I am humbled to be associated with this exciting initiative.

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